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Will our lack of faceoff prowess come back to bite us in the playoffs?

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03-23-2009, 10:23 PM
  #1
Crescent Street
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Will our lack of faceoff prowess come back to bite us in the playoffs?

I say this without knowing where we were last year in terms of face off dominance but something tells me things weren't good last year either. The first Flyer to crack the top 100 is Richards at number 64 with a 49.2 FO%.

Will this be a problem come playoff crunch?


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03-23-2009, 10:31 PM
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Juicy Couturier*
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I guess it could cost us a game or something but there are far bigger problems and a million other things that will be our demise before faceoffs. Penalties are ranked way higher on the list than faceoffs i can tell you that much.

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03-23-2009, 10:33 PM
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Winning faceoffs are important, but I'm more concerned about what happens directly after the team loses an important faceoff, positioning and what-not.

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03-23-2009, 10:39 PM
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Crescent Street
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flyguy View Post
Winning faceoffs are important, but I'm more concerned about what happens directly after the team loses an important faceoff, positioning and what-not.
The problem is the defensive system is never consistent. People like to say that Stevens has no system in place but there really is.

The Flyers don't have intimidating hitters on the blue line, so Stevens directs them to keep all play to the outside and push on the boards. It's just never executed to perfection nite after nite and without that dominant physical presence and lack of desire to use the body, they back peddle and allow more talented players too much space far too often.

Losing Hatcher and Smith left a shot blocking void that's been sorely missed as well.

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03-23-2009, 10:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crescent Street View Post
The problem is the defensive system is never consistent. People like to say that Stevens has no system in place but there really is.

The Flyers don't have intimidating hitters on the blue line, so Stevens directs them to keep all play to the outside and push on the boards. It's just never executed to perfection nite after nite and without that dominant physical presence and lack of desire to use the body, they back peddle and allow more talented players too much space far too often.

Losing Hatcher and Smith left a shot blocking void that's been sorely missed as well.
I don't think the defenders are the problem at all. It's more the forwards standing still, looking like they expect someone else to cover a guy, or go after a dangler. Our system is meant to keep the play outside, which works well, especially on the PK. When a team can move the puck on the inner diamond area, the Flyers collapse defensively, and this tends to leave offending players open.

I also think the team as a whole has gotten a lot better at blocking shots. Sure Hatcher and Smith did a lot of it last year, but this year you see other players getting into deflecting shots more, including forwards.

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03-23-2009, 11:47 PM
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sharkeyanti
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Faceoffs are such a matter of nerves that it could be difficult to say how our FO takers will be in the playoffs. As someone suggested, it's more important for the Flyers post-faceoff play than the actual faceoff itself. We've seen a couple well executed set plays in the offensive zone, often with Giroux or Richards on the ice. I do think our faceoffs will be average through the playoffs, but won't cause too much issue unless players lose focus.

In tonight's game versus the Devils some forwards ended up with the wrong defensive duties, which may be a result of the line shuffling. The Flyers' zone clearance system works on some teams, but is exploited quite a bit.

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03-24-2009, 02:56 AM
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Readyrock
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crescent Street View Post
I say this without knowing where we were last year in terms of face off dominance but something tells me things weren't good last year either. The first Flyer to crack the top 100 is Richards at number 64 with a 49.2 FO%.

Will this be a problem come playoff crunch?
If you look at faceoff rankings, #12-50 range between 50.6% to 54.7%

Then, if you take a look at the top 10 in the league, it ranges from 55.2% to 60.6%. (Pretty steep jump). I think that reflects that there are only a handful of true faceoff studs in the league, and aside from Brind'Amour, most of them are out West.

I think that the Flyers will be okay without a faceoff technician, as long as they can avoid getting totally burnt. For his faults, Richards can scrum with the best of them and avoid getting totally embarrassed. I think he'll get better with age.

(Interestingly, four of the top five faceoff men in the league have a negative +/-. I'm not sure if that's indicative of anything except that most of them are deep-liners. But, for some reason, this seems counter-intuitive to me.)

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Old
03-24-2009, 03:46 AM
  #8
Claude28Giroux
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We have to worry about bigger things than face offs. Not saying face offs are non important, see game 1 @ Montreal last year, we win that face off, we most likely win that game. But point in case, even though you can say a blown face off costed us a game, it didn't cost us the series, because the best team will prevail in a best of 7 playoff series.

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03-24-2009, 07:41 AM
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turkinaa
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I think that winning face-offs are just as important as positioning after one. If we were able to win more face-offs in the offensive zone, I think we could improve our team greatly because majority of the game is puck possession and it takes a lot of time having to go up and down the ice on a PP.

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